The Gas vs Charcoal Debate is Slowly Fading in the Embers

Charcoal grills are considered modern day dinosaurs by some outdoor cooking aficionados. Gas grill technology has left charcoal grills smoldering in their own ashes in terms of cooking versatility, convenience, and clean-up. Over sixty percent of the grills sold each year are gas grills and that percentage is expected to increase based on the fact that infrared grills are getting less expensive and are attracting new gas consumers, and old charcoal grill users.

Gas grills are no longer seasonal items; people all around the world are cooking on gas grills regardless of the season. Grilling is part of every culture and has been for centuries. Grills have become status symbols in some social groups so finding the best gas grill to suit individual grilling needs can be a challenge because there are so many different makes and models. Gas grills are getting bigger and are filled with gadgets that cause some sleepless nights for middle-age men who toss and turn thinking about what to cook on the gas grill the next day.

Finding the perfect gas grill for your situation requires a little research. There are a number of different grill manufacturers and an assotment of component and price choices. You’ll need to know what features are essential if you want to cook like a backyard or balcony grilling professional. Some consumers still want a basic gas grill with no frills while others want all the accessories and amenities that many new gas grills offer. Gas grill ratings help consumers sort through the hype and marketing ploys so they can find a grill that will give them years of service at a price that fits their budget. Other consumers are still die-hard sphere shaped charcoal grill users that will use the charcoal method of cooking until the earth runs out of coal.

Gas Grill Ratings Should Include Several Key Features

Most grilling experts say there are seven key features that should be considered when buying a new gas grill. The list is not in any particular order because all these features are important considerations, but not all of them may pertain to individual needs or a set budget. The best grill ratings examine these features:

  • Stainless steel or porcelain-coated cast iron grates are rated because they distribute heat evenly. These grates enable food that is not directly over the flame to cook at the same degree of doneness as the food that is over the flame. Vented metal plates and ceramic briquettes are also good heat distributors and are rated.
  • Variable temperature settings are essential in order to control the cooking process. The ability to sear as well as slow roast foods is an important feature that some inexpensive models lack. Temperature knobs on most models are marked with temperature settings, but some have continuous variable settings. The ratings can help determine which type suits your cooking needs.
  • British Thermal Unit (BTU) heating power measurements are not as important as heat distribution, size, and shape, but it’s good to know a grill’s BTU rating. A low BTU rating may indicate that the grill heats slowly or ineptly.
  • Warming shelves and racks are important for toasting or for keeping food warm and other shelves are convenient for mixing, chopping, and basting and are necessary for plate placement while cooking. Most grills have them. The ratings examine the strength and the location of these important features.
  • Side burners should are rated because they help cooks heat sauces and cook rice and vegetables without running back and forth to the kitchen. Some side burners may lack the power needed to do much of anything.
  • Rotisseries are rated even though people rarely use them.
  • Accessories are also rated. Things like a spare gas tank, wire brushes, and cooking tools are essential items that can make a difference in any outdoor meal.


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